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Silent Performance Noctua Build

by Fish217


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

Nov. 4, 2014

Date Built

Nov. 3, 2014

CPU Clock Rate

3.5 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

38.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

48.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.114 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

40.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

55.0° C


With this build I'm aiming to prioritize noise reduction without sacrificing performance in games and graphics-related applications.

Some basic numbers:

  • CPU fans idle at 265 rpm and 38 C.

  • GPU fans idle at 500 rpm and 40 C (flashed BIOS).

  • Case fans switch on at 50 C.

  • CPU/GPU hit 50-55 C under load.

Additional details: Western Digital Reds were the quietest 2TB+ hard drives I could find but they're just barely audible when there is no other sound in the room. Otherwise this build would be completely silent when idling/browsing. Still waiting on the LG monitor from Massdrop, but otherwise everything's up and running. Plays Elite: Dangerous on Oculus DK2 like a champ.

EDIT 1: I've received a boatload of awesome tips and suggestions from the wonderful community here. I'll post an update some time in the next few weeks with all of the changes as well as pictures of the completed setup and workspace (including all of the peripherals). Thanks everyone!

EDIT 2: I switched out the Rosewill RNX-N250PCe wireless adapter for a ASUS PCE-AC68 dual band 802.11ac adapter. The Rosewill adapter was perfectly fine until we upgraded our router/modem/internet package today and moved the location of the router. After doing some reading and getting up to speed on what all those networking standards mean, I decided to go for a nicer wireless adapter which will be compatible with Time Warner's 300 Mbps service that's coming to my area next year.

Comments Sorted by:

niggashu 20 points 50 months ago

so you spent 6k$ and couldn't spend another 70$ for an i7 :(

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 6 points 50 months ago

My greatest regret. I forgot to think in terms of non-gaming performance when I bought the CPU so I went with what seemed like more than enough for modern games. I'm actually super sad about this but what can ya do?

Jwood013 1 Build 0 points 46 months ago

You don't need an i7. It's a gaming rig, not a workstation.

-Frosty- 2 points 39 months ago

Actually, if you read his description, its both

Jwood013 1 Build -2 points 39 months ago

and graphics-related applications

I'm assuming that's what you're referring to. That doesn't make me think "workstation". He could be doing some simple Photoshop work or constructing buildings in AutoCAD.

I do understand why it would make you think "workstation" though.

Edit - The title says "Gaming Noactua Build".

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Sed8Op8 3 Builds 2 points 50 months ago

Most of that 6k is In accessories the build itself by no means cheap but for the Quality parts in that build is fairly reasonable. You can if motivated enough sell the i5 or give it to a friend and get the i7 it dosent look like your too strapped for cash!!!

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 3 points 50 months ago

For real, this is actually more of a 2k build + high end accessories. I should still try to switch to i7 but in the meantime there's plenty of very tangible quality here to keep me happy! A lot of aspects of PC building tend to have dramatically diminishing returns as you scale up, but in my opinion industrial design isn't one of them. The physical user experience is really important to me after being spoiled by years of using Macs professionally.

Enzly -4 points 45 months ago

The best i7 would be the 4790k although I don't think it'll work for your build. As it's known to have problems with temperatures, so it would mean your CPU fans will have to run overtime to keep it cool. I'd keep the i5.

dark212627 5 points 50 months ago

Awesome cable management!!

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 1 point 50 months ago

Thanks! There's a few things I want to do with the cables the next time I open it up but I'm happy for now!

Rashiq 2 points 50 months ago

Sleeve them BROWN!!

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 1 point 50 months ago

Links to brown/cream sleeving???

Rashiq 2 points 50 months ago

http://www.theparacordstore.com/burgundy-paracord-100.html Buy 3 100 foot hanks, a sleeving needle (from the same site), an atx remover, a molex pin remover and a bic lighter, and fire through all the cables in a heat shrinks less manner (unless heat shrinks are your thing). You can also buy 50 foot hank, black, to sleeve the cables you want to blend in with the case. (P.S. has the thought of opening and spray painting those pair of Gigabites brown and cream crossed you mind?LOL) FAQ answers: http://www.overclock.net/t/1262900/frequently-asked-sleeving-questions

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 1 point 50 months ago

0_0 That's hardcore. Someone else on another board recommended getting short cable extensions and having just the visible side of the mobo sleeved by a sleeving service. I don't know how much that costs though.

The time investment of sleeving myself is a big barrier for me but not a dealbreaker. It's mainly the amount of computer downtime I can't afford if it ends up taking more than like, a day.

What do you think? Any idea how much it would cost to get a bunch of cable extensions sleeved? How long would it take to sleeve everything myself?

sajiin 5 points 50 months ago

I thought about buying Noctua fans for the build I am gathering parts for but I just cannot get past the awful color of the fans. They don't look bad in your build though. Perhaps because there is enough of them that they don't look out of place.

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 3 points 50 months ago

As far as color goes, the best advice is to pick one dominant color and one secondary color for a 2-tone palette and stick with it! You can go with a third accent color as long as you make sure that it doesn't conflict with your main 2-tone colors. That can be done either by using the third accent color in really tiny quantities (like an accent) OR by choosing a color that is similar in hue to one of the other colors (ex: if you have a blue/white color scheme, your accent might be grey, or dark blue).

I personally fell in love with the Noctua aesthetic as soon as I saw it because to me the unconventional palette perfectly reinforces their positioning as an understated, high quality, premium brand. It's all about low-key sophistication with them, as cheesy as it sounds :D

ManThunder 3 points 50 months ago

So many fans! amazing!

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 2 points 50 months ago

More fans = lower rpms = more silence! :D

NetraGames 1 point 45 months ago

I'm sorry, I'm a computer noob, but do you need to plug in all of the fans or do they just run on their own. Sorry this comment is late and thanks. Great build!

cluelessnoob 1 point 42 months ago

yup, and dont worry its not a super dumb question, I've seen worse ;}

bobtherock 3 Builds 0 points 50 months ago

It upsets my OCD that the cooler fans aren't inline with exhaust fan. Nice build though.

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 2 points 50 months ago

In a perfect world all of my case fans would line up in a perfect grid. Someone should design that case. One word of warning to potential D15 buyers: the RAM compatibility list on Noctua's website includes for taller memory sticks which would offset the inner heat sink fan by several centimeters. Having the two fans misaligned is unacceptable if you care about this stuff so make sure to spend the time to find RAM short enough to accommodate perfectly aligned fans when considering the D15 as your cooler.

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GamerDeso 2 points 50 months ago

Uhm, I don't want to be "that guy" but why the absurd amount of RAM paired with an i5?

TilarP 2 Builds 2 points 50 months ago

graphics-related applications

GamerDeso 2 points 50 months ago

Oh well. Atleast that answers my curiosity.

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 2 points 50 months ago

32 GB even makes Photoshop really happy, believe it or not!

jacobs4525 1 Build 2 points 50 months ago

Sweet mother of Noctua!!!

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 1 point 50 months ago

Eventually I'll swap out the stock Phanteks 200mm front intake for another pair of 140mm. They're just so quiet!

jacobs4525 1 Build 2 points 50 months ago

You may want to hold off on that. At Computex last year Noctua revealed that they were working on 200mm fans. They will be more quiet than 140s and move a rediculous amount of air. Also, I didn't notice before, but nice Enthoo Pro, I love that case so much.

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 6 points 50 months ago

Oh man... no way. Thanks for the tip. My body is ready.

TilarP 2 Builds 2 points 50 months ago

Interesting choices. My build would look quite a bit different if I had spent $6000, but I also don't work at all on mine either. :P

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 1 point 50 months ago

A $6k build minus monitors/peripherals would be totally nuts :D

Jerrad1020 2 Builds 2 points 50 months ago

Stick a third fan on the other side of the cpu heat sink xD

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 1 point 50 months ago

I would if I could! Oh wait... can I?

Jerrad1020 2 Builds 1 point 50 months ago

If there's room, I don't see why you wouldn't be able to. Unless there's no screw holes, that's when you make your own

Meithen 2 Builds 2 points 50 months ago

Nice temps, and clean build.

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 1 point 50 months ago


Johnston12 2 points 50 months ago


mrsimplycrazy 2 points 50 months ago

Great looking build there! How's the Oculus?

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 2 points 50 months ago

Thanks man! It's a huge step up from the DK1. I haven't had too much time to test every demo yet but Elite: Dangerous with HOTAS and VR absolutely lives up to the hype. You really get that sense of being connected to the vehicle around you, kind of like driving a car. The feeling is amplified by the fact that the interior cockpit hand motions all animate correctly with whatever you're doing with your joystick and throttle, so you start to feel like you're really there, all suited up, interacting with a spaceship.

mrsimplycrazy 4 points 50 months ago

Oculus just moved up on my wishlist. Just above world peace.

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 2 points 50 months ago


heliontide 1 Build 2 points 50 months ago

I absolutely hate Noctua fans (they're easily the ugliest fans on the market lol), but I gotta say, everything looks beautiful. Nicely done!

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 4 points 50 months ago

Hahaha thanks man! Yeah I think they'd be pretty damn ugly in the vast majority of builds, but only because 99% of PC accessories use neon or primary color palettes. If only there were more pastel or earth toned parts to choose from... :D

MightyHammer 2 points 45 months ago

wait a second your mobo have only 4 case fans, how you were able to install more than 4??

tuckinlee 2 points 44 months ago

I was wondering about your fan setup and what areas you use as intake and what as exhaust?

denzcell 1 point 32 months ago


nonstopcrunchy 1 point 50 months ago

Nice headphones. I hope you don't plan to plug those into the onboard audio.

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 1 point 50 months ago

I actually have a Fiio E12 Mont Blanc headphone amp but honestly I can't really hear any difference in sound quality. People on the Internet talk about how PCs and iPods don't have enough power to drive higher end headphones which results in the sound being too quiet, but as far as I can tell, every device I've used the 650s with can pretty much be cranked to deafening levels. As for sound quality, going from HD280s to 650s was a massive, obvious difference. But with amp vs. without amp... not so much.

nonstopcrunchy 1 point 50 months ago

That's unfortunate, that you can't seem to hear a difference with your amp. Headphone amps aren't only for powering them, you should be able to hear more detail and nuances in the music with an amplifier. I don't know what you're listening to, but if you haven't tried already, maybe you'll find a little more luck with some lossless audio like FLAC.. or maybe your headphones aren't broken in yet. At least you've put in the due diligence. Most audiophiles would cringe if they saw 650's plugged into onboard.

In any case, feel free to give me that amp if you don't like it! 8]

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 2 points 50 months ago

I guess I just don't have enough patience for managing FLAC in the age of instant gratification and Spotify :P

I'd actually be interested in selling the amp if you want it.

nonstopcrunchy 3 points 50 months ago

Sorry, all I've got right now are some old Grado SR-60s and some 280's.. and they've both seen better days.. not sure if they call for an amp. One day, I'll have some high-end headphones.. At least they're not Beats by Dre.

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 1 point 50 months ago

Ah the 280s... mine are still going strong after 8 years. Great pair of headphones!

Nesh 1 point 49 months ago

Do the graphics cards droop any?

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

I was worried about this as well when buying these. They seemed pretty secure when I installed them a few weeks ago. I'll take a picture and wiggle them around in a few days when I put in a new wireless adapter.

Nesh 1 point 49 months ago

Ok, thanks.

Nesh 1 point 49 months ago

Im looking about putting one of those 970s in my first build, and I needed some information. If you could look at my saved partlist should be named "future computer v2" or something similar, that would be great. I just really need an expert analysis of my parts before i blow over $1000 on them.

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

Hey man, I just took a look at your build. I'm no expert by any means but I posted what I thought anyway. I think you'll be happy with it!

Zveir 9 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

oooooooo awesome build! +1

Tell me, how did you get your system fans to activate based on temperature?

Variable.variables 1 point 48 months ago

Nice build

ITneto 1 point 48 months ago

Hey! I came back to your build to watch those stunnin' 970's and by the way , were you able to change anything , what would it have been? Is that PSU sufficientely good?

ITneto 1 point 48 months ago


ITneto 1 point 48 months ago

I came back to your build to see those stunnin' 970's again! but I wanted to ask you, if you were able to change anything from your part list, what would it have been? And what was your experience with the 3x gigabyte model? And did that psu meet your expectatives? thanks

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dez 1 point 48 months ago

very clean, nice build.

RazerZ 2 Builds 1 point 48 months ago

I love it.


matt255 1 point 48 months ago

What frames do you get while playing?

jumboworms 1 Build 1 point 48 months ago

Was that PSU enough to handle the 970 sli?

Christian_Bell6 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Looks great, wish i had that kinda money to spend XD

jumboworms 1 Build 1 point 47 months ago

Is this psu okay? I don't know whether I should go with the bronze or gold version of this

Ntress 1 point 46 months ago

How's the Noctua nh-d15? Do you regret getting it? And is it THAT ugly like everybody says?

lukeguywalker 1 point 46 months ago

Do yourself a favor and get an overlord tempest x270OC, hands down best ipso 120hz 1ms 1440p monitor right now.

Sparttan117MC 1 point 46 months ago

From what I've heard, there are a lot of big fans of that big fan on your cpu

PureBlackFire 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

very nice and clean looking.

Mackilroy 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Fantastic build! Very clean. I've got the same GTX 970, albeit only one. How do you find the Noctua NH-D15?

jnanof 32 Builds 1 point 45 months ago

lol: Mail in Rebates saves $10 +1

JoB0b 1 point 44 months ago

If you really want a quiet build why the Gigabyte G1 gaming over the Asus Strix?

Nexofedex_99 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago


SilkyZ 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

Hey, nice build.

I'm looking at something similar and wondering what frame-rates you are getting on that monitor?

lostagent23 1 point 43 months ago

I have seen alot of builds on this site while planning my own(first-build). Gotta say your cable management is one of the best man..well done :). Great system as well.

pnged 1 point 43 months ago

that ugly sli bridge :(

jagoxz 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Orgasmic , +1

robin4u 1 point 43 months ago

It's an amazing build but for nearly $6000 their are better options

jagoxz 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

This is my favorite build with noctua fans on the whole pcpp site.. +1000

iNanna 1 point 42 months ago

Hey Man just wondering how the Z97-A is coming along

I'm thinking of buying one and heard mixed reviews about them

NZalltheway 1 point 42 months ago

With just one 200mm intake and 4 exhaust fans, do you think you have negative fan pressure? I would take two fans from the top and replace the 200mm in the front? what do you think?

Bosna917 1 point 41 months ago

the only thing silent about that is my wallet if i was to build it D: sorry lol i thought i was funny

Utopia0 1 point 39 months ago

6k and cant even put a i7 in wow just wow

alfa42 1 point 39 months ago

Great build and awesome cable management! :)

I am putting together a "buy list" for a future PC and this build shares a lot with my list, lol.

P.S: I think you would be happy to know that Noctua is planning on releasing 200mm fans (somewhere in the near future...) :_)

SteveyMcGinins 1 point 38 months ago

This is not going to be able to handle 4K very well

AW1018 1 Build 1 point 35 months ago

Y u so OP? JK nice build

Hatcherfive 1 point 35 months ago

one of my favorite builds

bullboy13 1 point 33 months ago

I would like to see some photos of your desk like with the monitor and all that

Fish217 submitter 1 Build 1 point 28 months ago

I would like to post some. Soon!

Nosson 1 point 32 months ago

I just had a question about the power supply. I'm currently using this one and am hoping to someday SLI, but PCPartpicker is saying I need an additional PCI-E 6-pin in order to do so. You've clearly got a similar setup to what mine will be so I was just wondering if that was an issue for you at all. Thanks!

ahy568 1 point 32 months ago

do you know what case fan size I should get for this case. I want the case to light up

afdryan13 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

I'm also using the Noctua air cooler, thinking about sticking with stock fans in the case though, instead of buying all Noctua fans. I wont have a window on my case so I could care less about color coordinating, just want performance. I like your build, looks very clean. Nice job.

DayQuil_Man 1 point 27 months ago

Hey man, I know this comment is way too late but I was hoping you could hep me out.

I'm looking at building my PC in a similar case with the Noctua fans too. My question is, How is that fan setup working for you? You have 3 intake fans and 3 exhaust fans along with the CPU cooler.

You have the most similar build to mine I could find on here.


The0Burger0King 2 Builds 1 point 27 months ago

What did you need to do to put those fans on the back of the HDD cage?

Vairfoley 25 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

Looks absolutely stunning. Proof that the Noctua signature color can look amazing and you don't need a sick *** custom loop to make your computer look awesome.

Fantastic work!

briolli 1 point 24 months ago

I lost my sli brigde that came with my asus z97-a mobo do you know what length or slot spacing the bridge is?

Sahil 1 point 22 months ago

The fans for this case are 2 front (1included) 3 top 1 rear (1included) 2 bottom and 2 for hdd So out of 10 fans 2 are included so 8 required Do u really need six case fans for this case Where have u placed them...top rear front? How do u keep some fans for intake and others for exhaust I want to use noctua fans pls help me

kinvore 1 point 21 months ago

Excuse the necro'ing but I'm a noob at building PCs and I was wondering if you could answer a couple of questions for me. I see you got 2 120mm fans and 4 140mm fans, where do they go in the case? And which direction are they pointing at? I'm guessing the top fans are the exhaust and the others are the intake?

lmhicks101 1 Build 2 points 20 months ago

The 120ms are at the bottom and the 140ms are set with 1 in the back, 3 in the top, the front fan is a 200m which is stock. The the ones on the air collar are stock. As for which are intake and exhaust, the front and 120ms are intakes and the rest are exhaust

kinvore 1 point 20 months ago

Okay cool, many thanks and great job!

lmhicks101 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

This looks really good. My only gripe is the fact you spent this much money, but would risk it with a bronze rated power supply. My cousin did the same thing a little while back and it caught fire during a power surge. He then upgraded to platinum and never worried about it again. If you don't want to dump and extra $150-$200 for that then for just $25 more you could of had a Gold rated.

Coolboy3000890 1 point 12 months ago

6k pc for i5 and 2 970s :thinking:

vr6mole 1 point 10 months ago

How are you able to get your CPU fans to spin that slow? Are you using the low noise adapter and letting the Mobo control off CPU header? If I try to make mine slower than 350rpm they stop spinning or I get a N/A reading.

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Fish217 submitter 1 Build 2 points 50 months ago

I'm not actually sure. I actually ordered a 34UM94 from here: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/lg-34um94-ultrawide-monitor

Not sure what the differences are but the specs are identical. If anyone can shed light on these monitors, please feel free to do so :)

iiphongs2 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

Just picked up the uc97

It's probably the most immersive thing i've ever seen or used. If you use it for a week, you really won't be able to go back. I'm uploading my build soon ;)

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